-----Original Message-----
>From: Lorrie <felineres...@frontier.com>
>Sent: May 4, 2013 8:04 AM
>To: felvtalk@felineleukemia.org
>Subject: [Felvtalk] What to feed a finicky, sick kitten?
>
>
>Amanda,  I can tell you love Polli very much, but if the vet suggested
>euthanasia I think you should take his advice. Anemia is not an easy way 
>to die, and the kindest thing you can do for Polliis is give her a gentle
>death.
>
>I lost three FelV kittens in two months and I tried to keep the first one
>going by forcing her to eat, but I realized I was only prolonging the
>inevitable. The poor cat gagged and struggled to get away from me, and I 
>will never do this to a dying cat again.  Force feeding or assisted feeding 
>is advised when there is hope the cat will get better,  but there is no cure 
>for Feline Leukemia and Polli will suffer more each day that she is alive. 
>
>Lorrie

Lorrie,

        I'm very sorry that you have had such heartbreaking experience with 
your cats. Fortunately, it isn't always that way. Each cat (and human) is an 
individual, and wat was right for you and your cats might not have been right 
for another situation.

        Many Vets will suggest euthanizing any cat that tests positive. It was 
suggested to me because it is "hospital policy" to do so. My Vet knows me 
pretty weel, so what she said was "It would probably be best to euthanize him. 
Now that I've said that, let's see what we can do to help him". And we did. 
Long story short, he was diagnosed as FeLV+ (previous test was negative) on 
March 2, my birthday. At one point before that his temp was 107+. His WBC count 
was 2.7 (Lab normal starts at 5). It was a long haul, but worth it. He is back 
to himself today. 

        I didn't force feed. I assisted. I gave him 1/2-1 cc at a time, and 
only until he pulled back. Then we stopped until later. He never struggled. As 
he gained strength, he objected more quickly, but would eat a bit more on his 
own. His appetite returned, slowly. 

        He is not suffering. He will never be cured. He will always be FeLV+, 
though someday tests may show him -, as they did when I first got him. Is his 
lifespan likely to be short? Yes. Perhaps no more than a few months. But right 
now, life is good. And none of us know just how long we will be here.

        This is a very tough situation, and may require really gut-wrenching 
decisions. 

        But it isn't cut and dried. Not every FeLV positive cat must be 
euthanized for the good of the cat. Symptoms may respond to treatment, and 
anemia is VERY treatable. Will it work? I don;t know. Nothing ventured, nothing 
gained. 

        Some do survive. Maybe Polli will be one of the lucky ones. Maybe 
that's not to be. Pollt may not respond to treatment, or may be unduly stressed 
by it, and it won;t be reasonable to treat her. But Amanda knows her Furkid 
better than anyone, and I'm sure she wants what will be best for her.

        Amanda, my thoughts will be with you and Polli. Your heart will tell 
you what to do, and such decisions are never wrong. I will support whatever 
choice you make, hard as it may be.

All the best,

Margo

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